How to (and Why) Replace an RV Power Cord

Plugged trailer into shore power

All RV owners need to have a basic understanding of the vehicle’s electrical system. Electrical problems in RVs are a common occurrence, and you need to understand what to do to get the power back into your RV, regardless of whether you’re running a 30-amp or 50-amp system.

Resetting a kicked-out GFCI or breaker, or replacing fuses, are simple tasks for RV owners. However, trying to resolve more significant problems involving the battery bank, charger, A/C system, or propane delivery requires the assistance of a professional that knows what they’re doing.

What to Do When Your Power Cord Fails

If the power to your RV fails, then you’ll need to contact roadside assistance or preferably an RV service technician. These experts can help you identify the nature and extent of the issue at hand. Never play around with the electrical system if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Tinkering with electrical components can result in severe injury, and you might end up doing more damage to your RVs electrical system that the original problem.

Troubleshooting the Problem

RV owners can conduct a troubleshooting inspection to determine whether the issue with their RV is a small or large problem. If you take the initiative to do some basic troubleshooting before you take the RV to a professional, you might discover the fault is only minor, and you can repair it by yourself.

RV owners need to note that the DC power supply powers up your lights, sliders, switches, and your thermostat. The AC component of your electrical system powers the A/C and other devices that require large amounts of current.

The RV receives power from a generator or a power source at camping grounds. These power sources come in 20, 30, and 50-Amp variants. The A/C electrical system will distribute power to other outlets and small appliances as well.

DC power comes from the batteries. If the RV has a converter wired into the electrical system, it uses the AC power from the power source, sending it through your breaker panel, converting it to 12-volt DC power to charge the battery.

The 12-volt DC power supply goes through the RVs fuse box to power the switches, lights, and slides that control appliances like heaters and A/C systems.

Many RV owners automatically assume that the power cord or plugs are responsible for faults in the electrical system. However, there could be a multitude of issues affecting the power supply in your vehicle.

Before you decide to replace the power cord to your RV, make sure that you rule out any other potential faults through the troubleshooting method.

In some cases, the connections come free due to movement when traveling. Wires can short due to overcharging or too much current passing through the system. This situation not only creates a short, but it also presents a fire risk to the RV as well.

If a fuse or breaker goes, you’ll have an accurate diagnosis of what going wrong with your RV. However, RV owners need to note that the breaker tripping or fuses bursting is not the cause of the issue at hand. These safety measures merely stop the flow of current when they experience a mechanical problem with the power supply or circuit.

Your RV has protection from electrical faults by breaking the circuit through the breakers or fuses, preventing a fire or injury.

Check the Circuit Breaker and Fuse Box in the RV

RV owners should never attempt to replace the breaker or fuse with a higher-rated Amp option. The manufacturer’s design RVs to handle the electrical load correctly and safely. Installing higher-rated options from your fuses and breakers won’t resolve your issue.

Instead, it might add fuel to the fire for the problem. Adding higher-capacity breakers and fuses reduces their intended purpose.

Therefore, you might find that you do extensive damage to the electrical circuits in the vehicle, and there is a higher risk of fire and other dangerous situations occurring due to the increase in breaker or fuse capacity.

Always replace a worn or damaged breaker and fuse with the same amperage as the original equipment.

Checking Your Fuses

The GFCI unit features a reset button that activates when the flow of current into the RV gets too high for the system to handle. The GFCI might be to blame if you lose appliances or devices in the RV, but the A/C is still working.

To resolve these issues, as well as any other GFCI problems, you’ll need to hit the reset button on the control panel.

If this tactic does not provide you with a solution to your problem, then the chances are that the fault lies with the power cord.

You should take the time to research the problems you’re experiencing with the 12-volt system. Check the fuse box and breakers for issues.

The breaker might trip, fuses may blow, and connections can come loose. Ensure that you go through the troubleshooting process before you determine that it’s the power cord that’s responsible for the issue.

The DC power system to your RV could also be experiencing failure due to one of these issues, or because the converter is faulty.

Never attempt to inspect and repair the converter by yourself, unless you have an extensive background in electrical repairs. Trying to resolve the issue by yourself could lead to severe injury or even death.

Is the RVs Power Cord the Source of the Problem?

There could be numerous problems affecting your power cord that you are unaware of with your RV. One of the less common issues is the damage or failure of your power cord.

If you run through the troubleshooting process outlined above and fail to find the cause of the fault, then it’s time to assess the power cord.

It’s important to note that you should always rely on a professional for replacing and installing a new power cord to your RV. There is a multitude of issues that can occur in your RV related to the power cord.

If the appliances in your RV get to much power, they can blow or fail. Plugs, wiring, and switched can melt, and you’ll ruin the entire electrical system as a result.

If the RV is drawing too little power, then you might notice that you have dim lighting. Check around your campsite to see if any other campers are dealing with the same issue. If the fault lies with the campground, contact management right away.

How to Replace an RV Power Cord?

Unless you have plenty of experience working with electrical components and circuits, we recommend you leave this job to the professionals. Replacing a power cord to your RV can become a dangerous exercise if you don’t know what you’re doing around electrics.

Accidents can happen if you don’t have specialized knowledge of electronics. You could end up taking 50-Amps if you make a mistake, and that’s enough to kill you or send you to the emergency room in a critical state.

Don’t take a risk to try and save a few dollars. Let the professionals do the job for you, and enjoy your RV experience without the hassle and danger involved with doing the job yourself.

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